Colorado Rockies starting center fielder and leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon was not in the starting lineup for the third straight game on Sunday thanks to a toe injury.
Blackmon suffered a contusion of his big right toe in a collision with Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez on a play at first base on Tuesday. Colorado’s All-Star outfielder played on Wednesday but the swelling got worse. After a day off on Thursday, Blackmon was a late scratch from Friday’s rain-delayed series opener against the Chicago Cubs.
“Apparently I kicked Gio’s spike. I was there but I don’t remember it,” Blackmon said. “It happened fast. My toe got really sore and then it got even more sore. Now it’s less sore so it’s feeling better than it was at one point.”
The injury comes at a tough time for Blackmon, who is batting .408 in August with nine homers and 16 RBI. He was named the National League Player of the Week on August 15 after leading MLB with seven home runs, 18 hits, 13 runs and a 1.313 slugging percentage in seven days.
“It’d be nice to have him in the lineup for sure but these things happen over the course of a season,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “You have to deal with sometimes major injuries and sometimes a guy being nicked up like Charlie is now. It’s not going to be too long. I’m not too worried about it.
“He’s been very durable. He had some injury issues early in his career but he’s been very, very durable since then.”
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“I was kind of surprised that it turned out to be more serious than I thought it was going to be at first,” Blackmon added. “I was surprised it was going to cause me to miss some time. When you’re feeling good, you want to be out in the field as much as you can.”
Blackmon said the swelling was the biggest surprise to him.
“There was a bit of a collision and it was a little sore, but that happens a lot,” Blackmon said. “It’s a weekly occurrence, because something always gets sore. I was surprised when it continued to swell on me but it’s on the way down now and it should be feeling pretty good soon.”
“Soon” could be as soon as tomorrow when the Rockies start a road trip in Milwaukee against the Brewers. He pinch hit in Friday night’s win over the Cubs but Weiss said playing in the outfield would’ve been too much to ask of Blackmon.
“He took the at-bat last night. That’s Charlie. He wanted to factor into that game,” Weiss said. “But running around is what’s going to be tough.”